Revelation 12:1-17 Part 4


1)    Then a great sign in the heaven was made visible: a woman sun-clothed, the moon underneath her feet, a crown of twelve stars on her head,


2)    having in her belly, crying out travailing and pained to bring forth.

3)    Then another sign in the heaven was made visible: and lo, a great fiery dragon having seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems,

4)    and its tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven and cast them into the earth.  And the dragon stands before the woman who is about to bring forth, that when she brings forth it might devour the child.

5)    And she did bring forth a son, a male who intends to rule all the nations by means of a rod of iron; and her child was hastened away to God and to His throne.

6)    But the woman did flee into the wilderness where she has a place having been prepared there of God, that there they may feed her a thousand two hundred and sixty days.

7)    And fighting was in the heaven, Michael with His messengers to fight the dragon; and the dragon (and its messengers) fought,

8)    but it did not prevail, a place no longer found for them in the heaven;

9)    and the great dragon, that old serpent (the whole world’s deceiver) called diabolos and ‘o Satanas, was cast into the earth and its messengers cast with it.

10) And I heard a great sound in the heaven declaring ‘now the salvation and the might and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ did come to be, for the accuser of our brothers that accuses them before our God day and night was cast;

11) for they did overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their life even unto death.

12) Because of this rejoice, heavens and you who dwell in them; woe the land and the sea for the devil did go down to you having great wrath, knowing that it has little time.’

13) And when the dragon beheld that it had been cast into the earth it did pursue the woman whoso brought forth the male;

14) and the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she could fly into the wilderness into her place away from the presence of the serpent where she is fed there a time, times and a half time.

15) And the serpent did cast water from its mouth as flood after the woman that it might bring about her carrying away,

16) and the earth did run to the aid of the woman; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast from its mouth.

17) And the dragon was enraged regarding the woman and did go forth to make war with the rest of her seed, that is those keeping the commandments of God and holding the testimony of Jesus.


Much of our time last Lord’s Day was used in reviewing the “signs” of Yahveh throughout the Scripture.  By looking at six or eight of the many passages in God’s Word having to do with His signs, we gained some insight into this means of Revelation.

And we learned that Yahveh “shows” His perception by way of “signs”; He makes things “known” by way of signs.  They bear great covenantal and providential significance; they are manifestations of divine intent; they are means of confirmation, and they are vested with great power. 

And having been “seen” (since the signs are Revelation of Yahveh), (having been seen) they require an obligation on the part of those viewing them.  That obligation is, of course, “faithfulness”.

And let’s say this once more, that the two “signs” that are shown (made visible) in the heaven aren’t for the purpose of concealment; they aren’t for the purpose of mystery; they aren’t for the purpose of making it difficult for the enemies of the Church in the nations.

These are “signs” of Yahveh; they’re not “code”; nor are they “symbols”.  And the two signs are to comfort the Churches; and to strengthen them; and to build hope and trust in them; and to further their faithfulness in perilous times.  And, then, to confirm that which has been previously prophesied.

Here’s what John writes at the beginning of the Revelation – chapter one at verse one:


“Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show His servants that which is necessary to be done in quickness, and He did make it known having sent through His messenger to His servant John, who did bear witness the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ all he saw.”


“He did make it known” is the verbal form, aorist tense, third person singular, of the noun “sign”.  He did make it known...; He “signed” that which is necessary to be done in quickness”! 

So the two signs here in Revelation twelve are so that the Churches out there in the nations would “know” the mighty Providence of Almighty God and the authority of His Son Jesus Christ, that they would “know” what was necessary to be done in quickness.

  There’s no “coded mystery” here; and there’s no thought of comforting the Churches for what might happen two thousand years in the future!  The signs are for their comfort and assurance and strengthening in their current horrific circumstances… so they would “know” their Lord and what He was doing – and what He was bringing to pass “quickly”.

And the signs made visible in the heaven are made known to the Churches by the apostle in the inspired language of God!  So, the apostles and pastors and evangelists and elders of the Churches would recognize God’s Words and teach the Churches what the signs are – for their edification during the most fearful time in all of world history.

And since John’s words are the Word of God; and since they are in God’s language from His perspective; and since God’s language and words are similar all through His written word (and therefore recognizable to us); and since God did “make it known” to the Churches, then the covenantal signs must also be apparent to us; for we, too, are to be confirmed and strengthened and sanctified in the Providence of God and the authority of His Son Jesus.

But John alerts the Churches, right at the beginning of chapter twelve here, that careful attention should be paid to this sign; for it is a “great” sign.  Since Yahveh has spoken in signs all through His revealed Word (as we saw last Lord’s Day); and since The Revelation of Jesus Christ begins with a verbal form of the word “sign” (chapter one, verse one); then the Churches must understand that Yahveh is “making known” that- which-is-to-happen-quickly in “signs” (as He has done so often through the written Word).  And the signs confirm that which has been signed (prophesied) previously, which is Yahveh’s covenantal intent!

But, again, John attests to the fact that this particular sign is to receive careful attention; for he says that it is a “great” sign.  And the central figure of the sign is a “woman”.

So the first thing we need to do is to read, and know (as best we can), some of those portions of Scripture in which the woman is the central figure; and there are many.

A number of them are of such that Yahveh “likens” His relationship to Israel to that of husband to wife.  Please understand that Israel is never revealed to be the wife of God, but the covenant relationship that Yahveh established with His chosen people is often revealed as likened to that.  Just as God likens that relationship as one of father and son, or master to household, or vintner to vineyard, these perceptions of the relationship having to do with the woman are often (but not always) likened to husband and wife.

Another kind of revelation in God’s Word having to do with the woman is “conversational”.  This is a little different than what we see when Yahveh speaks directly to the prophets and tells them what to say and do.

But we find instances in God’s revelation to the prophets in which there are conversations between the woman and Yahveh.  That’s how the prophets wrote!  And this is where we’re going to turn our attention first this morning.

Listen closely to what Isaiah writes in chapter twenty-six of his prophecy:


10) Let favour be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of Yahveh.

11) Yahveh, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.

12) Yahveh, You will ordain peace for us: for You also have wrought all our works in us.

13) O Yahveh our God, other lords beside You have had dominion over us: but by You only will we make mention of Your name.

14) They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore have You visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.

15) You have increased the nation, O Yahveh, You have increased the nation: You are glorified: You had removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.

16) Yahveh, in trouble have they visited You, they poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.

17) Like as a woman withchild that draws near the time of her bringing forth is in pain, and cries out in her travail; so have we been in Your sight, O LORD.

18) We have been withchild, we have been in pain, but we have only brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the land; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

19) Your dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust: for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the land shall cast out the dead.

20) Come, my people, enter into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little while, until the indignation be overpast.

21) For, behold, Yahveh comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the land for their iniquity: the land also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.


This prophetic Word recorded by Isaiah (in chapter twenty-six) might be described by some as “cryptic” (or perplexing); but it’s not.

Not only was it “made known” there in the older Scripture, but now it is “signed” once again to the Church here in The Revelation of Jesus Christ.  Our God has always had a “people” who He has kept for Himself by grace through the gift of faith.

And it was Abraham’s grandson Jacob (the father of twelve sons) through whom God kept His people, all from among a covenanted nation that cried out in great travail to bring forth God’s chosen people.

Hopefully you heard, while I was reading there from Isaiah twenty-six, that Israel (God’s covenanted nation) is referred to in feminine gender pronouns.  There is there, in God’s view, a deep and profound conversation with some within idolatrous Israel concerning the agonizing pain and travail.  But finally, in the last days, the Anointed One is born – Immanuel (as prophesied by this same prophet in chapter seven).

And upon His having raised up a new humanity; and having baptized that new humanity in its entirety, the legs of the woman are opened and, in great pain and travail, she “brings forth” from the womb of the covenant people.  And a hundred and forty four thousand “newborns” are sent streaming like rivers of living water into the nations of the earth!

This is God’s perspective, you see… for the Church of Jesus Christ to know.  He has “signed” it; He has “made it known”.

But let’s continue to read.  Listen from Isaiah again, chapter forty-nine:


1)    Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people from far; Yahveh has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of my name.

2)    And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;

3)    And said unto me, You are my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

4)    Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with Yahveh, and my work with my God.

5)    And now, says Yahveh Who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him; though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of Yahveh, and my God shall be my strength.

6)    And he said: it is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

7)    Thus says Yahveh, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One: to him who man despises, to him who the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of Yahveh Who is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose you.

8)    Thus says Yahveh: In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate places;


“Like as” the woman who cries out to Yahveh in pain and travail to “bring forth” His offspring, Yahveh promises to save “Jacob” (the twelve tribes) and make him to inherit all the wilderness places of the earth.

In the birth of Immanuel to the virgin is the “sign” to Israel (the woman “withchild”) that her pain and travail is nearing its end; for she shall “bring forth” the promise to Jacob in the “day of salvation”.  And the “offspring” will be a blessing to all the nations (as promised to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham).

And now to the end of Isaiah’s prophecy.  Here is the very Word of God regarding the birth of the new humanity in the body of the Christ, and its nurture in the new heavens and the new earth – and its “new moon” – all in the “sign” shown to John here in chapter twelve.  This is Isaiah sixty-six:


1)    Thus says Yahveh, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

2)    For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, says Yahveh: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.

3)    He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offers an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burns incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations.

4)    I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before my eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

5)    Hear the word of Yahveh, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let Yahveh be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

6)    A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of Yahveh who renders recompence to his enemies.

7)    Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

8)    Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? However, as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

9)    Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Yahveh: shall I cause to bring forth, and then shut the womb? saith thy God.

10) Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her:

11) That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

12) For thus says Yahveh, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall you suck, you shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

13) As one who his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14) And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of Yahveh shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

15) For, behold, Yahveh will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16) For by fire and by his sword will Yahveh plead with all flesh: and the slain of Yahveh shall be many.

17) They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind a tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

18) For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

19) And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

20) And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto Yahveh out of all nations - upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says Yahveh, just as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of Yahveh.

21) And I will also take of them (Gentiles) for priests and for Levites, says Yahveh.

22) For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says Yahveh, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23) And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahveh.

24) And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.


There at the end of Isaiah’s prophetic Word is the birth and nurturing of the New Zion, New Israel and the New Jerusalem and the New Temple in which are clean offerings; and in which are new “lights” (a new moon).  And Yahveh’s people from all the nations and islands of the earth shall stream into that new city of God.  For Israel will travail in childbirth and bring forth a newborn… one that will suckle at the breast of its mother (rather than doing all those abominable things in God’s garden).  And the newborn will be a “light” to the nations.

Now, I don’t want to read too much to you, for fear of tripping the switch.  But for one reason or another we just don’t read enough Scripture; and therefore God’s language doesn’t register very well.  But we have the opportunity, here from the pulpit, to read and hear in covenantal continuity.  And we get to hear God’s language in context.  And of course that’s when the “signs” of God become more clear.

But there’s so much more!  I won’t even take the time to read from the prophet Hosea who was, indeed, a “sign” of Yahveh; for the prophet was required to marry a woman who was a harlot in order to signify the reprehensible whoredom of Israel against Yahveh.

But (even at risk of giving you too much), I have to read one of the great passages in all of Scripture having to do with the Church of Jesus Christ, kept by God for Himself and bought at an enormous price – and brought forth of great pain and travail.  This is from the prophecy of Micah.  Please “tune in” and don’t miss it:


1)    But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahveh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow unto it.

2)    And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahveh, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of Yahveh from Jerusalem.

3)    And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4)    But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of Yahveh of hosts has spoken it.

5)    For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of Yahveh our God for ever and ever.

6)    In that day, says Yahveh, will I assemble her that halteth (is lame), and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted (feminine pronouns);

7)    And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and Yahveh shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even into the age.

8)    And you, O Tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem (female newborn).

9)    Now why do you cry out aloud? is there no king in you? is your counselor perished? for pangs have taken you as a woman in travail.

10) Be pained, and bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shall you go forth out of the city, and you shall dwell in the field, and thou shall go even to Babylon; even there shall you be delivered; even there Yahveh shall redeem you from the hand of your enemies.

11) Now though many nations are gathered against you that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.

12) But they know not the thoughts of Yahveh, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.

13) Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hoofs bronze: and you shall beat in pieces many peoples: and I will consecrate their gain unto Yahveh, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.


And then, further:

2)    But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

3)    Therefore will he give them up (abandon them), until the time that she who travails has brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

4)    And he shall stand and shepherd in the strength of Yahveh, in the majesty of the name of Yahveh his God; and they shall abide (live): for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.


7)    And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples as a dew from Yahveh, as the showers upon the grass, that tarries not for man, nor waits for the sons of men.

8)    And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many peoples as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep:


The clarity that comes forth from reading in continuity and in God’s language is truly amazing, isn’t it?  The early Revelation by Yahveh to the wicked king Ahaz through Isaiah (chapter seven) said that a “sign” would be revealed to Israel: the virgin would conceive and bear a son; and He would be called Immanuel.  It was Mary to whom it was revealed that she would conceive and bear a son; and she was to call Him Jesus (which in that context means the same as Immanuel in the context of Ahaz).

And He (Immanuel – Jesus) would “abandon” Israel until such time as the “woman” – the Daughter of Zion – brought forth in travail; and the One brought forth from Mary would lead them and shepherd them in the might and glory of Yahveh.  And the newborn would be the remnant kept by Yahveh for His Own; and the remnant of Jacob would be as the “dew of Yahveh” among the nations of Gentiles.

“Behold”, Yahveh has proclaimed to the end of the age (Isaiah 62), Say ye to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, thy salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”

It is the New Israel, you see… ruled under the authority of the One born of Mary Who rode into Jerusalem on an ass, proclaiming (directly from Isaiah 62), “Lo, daughter of Zion, lo, your king comes to you”; the One Who bought and paid for her who is birthed in pangs and travail.

The sign we see here at the beginning of chapter twelve is the sign of the Daughter of Zion… prophesied in the four passages we just read (and many more).  The sign is made visible to John in the heaven.  The woman has twelve stars in a crown on her head.  The lights of the old Israel having fallen out of the cosmos, the twelve tribes of Jacob (the twelves stars in her crown) are the lights of the New Israel.

The woman is sun-clothed.  The sun over Israel having been darkened, there is a new sun-clothed daughter brought forth for the glory of Yahveh.

The woman has a new moon under her feet, for Israel’s moon had turned to blood.  All the “lights” in the heaven are turned on for the “daughter” who has travailed and brought forth.

When in great pain and travail she had “brought forth”, the newborn was scattered among all peoples of the earth; and she was a “light” to the Gentiles.  And the “dew” of Yahveh was an effusion into all the nations and isles of the world.

This was a glorious, powerful sign to the Church for its comfort in the last days; for it confirmed all that Yahveh had “signed” and prophesied.

And the “Ruler” of the New Jerusalem, the One Who had paid for her with His Own blood, and Who had baptized her on the eighth day (Pentecost), and the One now with all authority in the heaven and on the earth, had “made it known” to the daughter of Zion that which was now necessary to be done in quickness.

Next Lord’s Day, the second sign in the heaven.